Want more exposure on TikTok? Wondering how to get your TikTok videos onto the For You page?
In this article, you’ll discover how to optimize your videos to achieve mass organic exposure on TikTok.
To learn how to optimize the structure of your TikTok videos, read the article below for an easy-to-follow walkthrough or watch this video:
#1: Send the Right Signals to the TikTok Algorithm
Your success on TikTok really comes down to how well you understand the algorithm.
As with any social platform, the more positive signals that your video sends to the TikTok algorithm, the more your content gets served to other people. And if it ticks enough boxes for what TikTok cares about, it might even reach the pinnacle of going viral on the For You page, where a bunch of people who don’t know or follow you can see your content. That’s where true virality comes in.
So what exactly does the algorithm optimize for?
While TikTok videos are obviously very short, you may be surprised at how close the TikTok algorithm is to the YouTube algorithm. Both platforms want users to watch the maximum amount of content. On TikTok, that’s 10-15 seconds. On YouTube, it could be minutes upon minutes.
Now let’s dive into five other key factors that matter to the TikTok algorithm.
The first thing that TikTok looks for is loops, which is the number of times people are replaying your video.
To get a sense of how often this is happening with your content, look at your TikTok Analytics. You’ll need a business or creator account to access analytics. If you don’t already have one of these account types, you can easily switch your account type in your settings.
To access your analytics, tap on the three dots at the top right of your profile. When the Settings and Privacy screen appears, choose Business Suite > Analytics or Creator Tools > Analytics, depending on your account type.
Next, open the Content tab and look at the average watch time for your videos, which will tell you if people are rewatching them. For example, if your TikTok video is 8 seconds long and has an average watch time of 11 seconds, you know that people are looping it over and over, which sends a strong signal to the algorithm.
You also want people to complete your TikTok videos. If viewers are moving on to the next video in the feed before finishing yours, that’s not a positive signal to the algorithm.
Getting shares on your videos is important as well. A share on TikTok is when people tap the share button on your video to share it with their friends through whatever platform they’re on.
You’ll notice viral TikTok videos have lots of comments and replies to comments. The more engaged those comments are, the more favorably the algorithm views the video.
Finally, don’t underestimate the power of a like. Even though likes are one of the last factors that TikTok considers in the algorithm, they’re the only social proof on your video other than comments. When people are swiping through the For You page and looking for cues about what videos are popular, likes are probably the first thing they’ll see.
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#2: Design Your TikTok Videos to Keep People Watching
To generate signals the TikTok algorithm is looking for, you need to design your content to draw viewers through to the end of the video. You can do this with a series of teases and then a payoff.
This is why some of the most popular TikTok trends have a reveal.
Reveals work on TikTok because humans are hardwired to need resolution and that keeps us watching to the end. This in turn sends a message to the algorithm that people aren’t only completing the video but also replaying it.
Think about when you play a minor key on a piano. You always feel the need to hear a major key too, right? We’re hardwired that way. The same thing goes for a reveal in a video—people need to see it so they’ll keep watching.
When you create a TikTok video, set up the reveal right at the beginning. Text on the screen is the best way to do it but don’t give away the game. The text could be something as simple as, “You won’t believe what happened when I went to the gym today.”
When you have a reveal or plot twist in your video—and don’t give it all away—it ticks the two biggest boxes on the algorithm optimization chart: getting people to watch the entire video and replay it.
Optimizing your TikTok video for likes, comments, and shares, on the other hand, is difficult. I’ve never advocated for asking for people to “comment below” or “like this video.” Generally, just understanding what your TikTok audience cares about, developing that audience, and creating a community within your comments is the way to get consistent engagement.
Certainly there are tactics you can use to get this engagement such as asking direct questions and prompting users to share their opinion on something. But you’ll get the most comments and shares when you’ve built a community within your TikTok audience. Then the comments and likes will come naturally.
#3: Compile a List of Trending Sounds for Future TikTok Videos
To come up with ideas for this kind of content, scroll through your For You page and look for sounds that have clear plot twists in them that you might be able to put your own brand stamp on.
Tap on the song at the bottom left of the screen to see other videos that use it. You can save the sound by tapping Add to Favorites.
Keep scrolling through your feed and repeating this process to compile a list of potential sounds you can use to create simple TikTok videos for your brand. The best part is that these sounds already have the optimization baked in.
There has never been an opportunity on the internet like TikTok. You can get seen by millions of people without spending a dime but only if your content sends the right signals to the algorithm.
Your success depends on how well you understand what TikTok is looking for in terms of how people consume video on the platform. You can then design videos to elicit the user behaviors that TikTok favors, which will in turn get your content served to more people.
What do you think? How do you optimize your content for the TikTok algorithm? Share your thoughts in the comments below.